The "María de Maeztu" (MdM) is an accreditation and grant awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation to recognise units that stand out for the relevance and impact of their research results.

In 2014 MELIS was one of the six research units in Spain to receive the MdM distinction from the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness. A distinction that was awarded again in 2018 by the Agencia Estatal de Investigación, AEI.

One of the defining features of MELIS is its wide array of expertise in the life sciences, ranging from experimental, computational and theoretical basic research in biology and bioengineering, to biomedical applications and clinical research. The MdM strategic research programme has contributed by funding collaborative scientific projects, training, technology transfer actions, communication and dissemination activities, gender equality actions, and fellowships for research stays both at MELIS and in international research institutions. 

This innovative organisation together with the sustained scientific output of the department and its efforts to transfer knowledge are recognized by the MdM accreditation, which enable MELIS to broaden both its projection to society and its scientific visibility on a global scale.

All in all, the overarching scientific objective of the MELIS MdM scientific research program is to perform integrative and transformative biomedical research. The scientific research program also has important social impact goals and is developed through different actions that include training and outreach activities.

The research actions of the MELIS MdM scientific research program include, among others, collaborative scientific projects, mobility fellowships for international visiting scientists, training activities, and gender actions. 

Research outcomes of the program can be found on the MELIS news page, and further information on the department, its results and indicators can be found in the 2022 report of the department

Scientific activities of the department that are integrated into the MdM scientific research program include the annual Biomedical Research Symposium and monthly seminars. 

MELIS is part of SOMMa, the alliance of Severo Ochoa Centres and María de Maeztu Units to promote Spanish Excellence in research and to enhance its social impact at national and international levels.